Rushed through Mockingjay and don't have anyone to talk to? Or: Want to listen to other reactions on the fate of Panem, President Snow and that pesky little Gale vs. Peeta plotline?
Trisha (Web Editor), Kate (Nonfiction Editor) and I (Eliza—Assistant Web Editor) discuss all things Mockingjay in a brand new podcast. We talk about the major points of tension in the book, how Katniss's character has progressed in the series, and where Mockingjay rates in terms of violence and romance. Toward the end of our conversation we chat about the Hunger Games movie and speculate on the "next big thing" in teen fiction.
There are major plot spoilers in this podcast, but they don't start until the 9-minute mark. (There's also some major word fumbling in the first minute or so of the recording, but what can I say? It's hard to keep your thoughts straight when you're talking about something as exciting as a Suzanne Collins book.) The 35-minute mark 'til the end is free of spoilers.
Listen away, and share your reactions in the comments section.
Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press • $27.99 • September 14, 2010
Wicked Appetite stars Lizzy, a cupcake baker with a certain skill important to two different men: Diesel (imagine an "unkempt ruler of the pride") and Wulf ("scary in a sexy vampire sort of way").
The dialogue is snappy and the action fast-paced. You'll just have to read the novel yourself to figure out why Lizzy is special! (Although there's a hint in the excerpt below.)
"I work for that governing body," Diesel said. "I'm commissioned to pull the plug on Unmentionables who abuse their power."
I saw this as registering high on my bull-crap-o-meter, but I was curious all the same.
"How do you pull the plug?" I asked.
"I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you," Diesel said.
I'd heard that line before and always knew it was a line. This time I wasn't sure.
"Why do you need my help?" I asked him.
"You're one of us. You're an Unmentionable, and you have a skill I lack. I can find people. You can find empowered objects."
I was speechless. He actually looked serious. "That's ridiculous," I finally said.
Diesel turned off Lafayette Street. "Yeah, and I'm stuck with it. Nothing personal, but you're not my first choice for a partner."
What are you reading today?
Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, you've got to admit that Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, stirs things up in her conservative party.
McCain's memoir, Dirty Sexy Politics, hits shelves today, and the author rung in the release in a big way—with an appearance on Good Morning America. If you saw that interview and you're looking for more information on the book, read McCain's hand-written Q&A with BookPage:
Do you think this political memoir will stand out in an already crowded field, or have you had enough of this saturated genre?
Our September issue features an interview with author Jonathan Franzen:
Nine years have passed since the publication of Jonathan Franzen’s monumental novel The Corrections. That book, a National Book Award winner, remains one of the best and most popular American works of literary fiction of this new century. And it casts a long shadow over any piece of fiction Franzen subsequently chooses to write. . .Addressing the personal impact of the success of The Corrections, Franzen says, “I have the kind of nature that needs to prove that it wasn’t any fluke, that I can do it again. So the pressure from the outside was combined with an enormous internal pressure.” [Continue reading this interview.]
I posted about John Vaillant's The Tiger back in May when Brad Pitt's production company bought the film rights to the book. (Who wouldn't be intrigued by a real-life man-eating tiger with a grudge?)
The book finally came out last week, and BookPage reviewer Edward Morris says it's an absorbing read . . . "it never shifts for long from the tiger [Vaillant] has crouching at the edge of the reader’s imagination."
Here's Vaillant's description of his protagonist:
To properly appreciate such an animal, picture the grotesquely muscled head of a pit bull and then imagine how it might look if the pit bull weighed a quarter of a ton. Add to this fangs the length of a finger backed up by rows of slicing teeth capable of cutting through the heaviest bone. Consider then the claws: a hybrid of meat hook and stiletto that can attain four inches along the outer curve. . .
You can get more information about the events depicted in the book in this trailer:
Will you read The Tiger? Also, do you have a favorite work of narrative nonfiction?
Finally, what book trailers are you buzzing about today?
Our clips from the event will crack you up—and remind you of why it's so much fun to get excited about a book.
Davis-Kidd's Mockingjay party had lots of appropriate programming, such as raiding a Cornucopia filled with snacks, Hunger Games buttons and fake bows-and-arrows that would make Katniss proud:
We formed an alliance (in Hunger Games parlance) with 9-year-old Darby to compete in a trivia match. Surprise, surprise. . . Darby knew way more answers than we did:
Watch more videos from the party on BookPage's YouTube channel. If you live in Nashville, check out Davis-Kidd's packed events calendar. September authors include Meghan McCain, Chelsea Handler and Rosanne Cash!
Did any readers of The Book Case go to a Mockingjay release party last week? We'd love to hear about it!
Maragaret Peterson Haddix's Into the Gauntlet—the 10th book in the 39 Clues series—goes on sale tomorrow. If you are a fan of the series, you will not want to miss Scholastic's "Inside Access to The 39 Clues" event.
For the past few weeks, readers have been able to submit and vote for questions about the series, and at 4 p.m. EST tomorrow, each of the 39 Clues authors will give their answers in a live webcast. (Authors include Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Jude Watson, Patrick Carman, Linda Sue Park and Margaret Peterson Haddix.)
Never heard of this popular adventure series for tweens? Read our review of Book One: The Maze of Bones.
I posted about this contest three weeks ago, but here's a little reminder since you're running out of time to enter.
For a chance at winning, all you have to do is enter here and you could get—well—free books for a year! (That breaks down to four books per month for 12 months.) We'll be sending the best new books every month to the winner—and we can even tailor our selections to your taste (i.e. only send out nonfiction, YA, etc.).
Sound like a prize you would like? Enter away because the contest ends tomorrow night at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!
Book blogs, including us, have been buzzing about two things this week: the release of Mockingjay—which I finished this morning; yahoo!—and the media's coverage of Freedom, which has sparked a heated discussion on whether literary or commercial/genre fiction "deserve" more critical attention.
Many of you are probably sick of these topics, although it would be an unrepresentative "Best of the Blogs" roundup without mentioning them. So, without further ado. . . a few notable links:
I love this "resolution" that encourages people on opposite sides of the literary vs. commercial/genre fiction debate to just . . . chill out. Here's an excerpt:
FULLY BELIEVING that some readers read genre, literary, and mainstream fiction, sometimes in the same day, even, sometimes expecting different things from those books, sometimes expecting the same things; further believing that some readers only read one subsection of fiction; further believing that this is all pretty normal,
EMPHASIZING that people will read what they like to read and that attacking people’s personal taste in books is about as useful and appropriate as attacking their taste in food (with an obvious exception made for mocking people who hate cilantro, because they are just WEIRD). . .
How a Kid-Lit Favorite Is Really About Trash Television
Posted by Rich Juzwiak on Jezebel
I can't say that I focus too much on the reality TV allusions when I'm reading The Hunger Games books, but I enjoyed Rich Juzwiak's post on the topic over at Jezebel—especially because pre-planned propaganda footage plays a major part in Mockingjay. Here's an excerpt:
Before she even enters the arena, Katniss is aware that the game she's to play will be played to the audience, as any clever reality television star knows. Her advisor before and silent guide during the Games, Haymitch, tells her up front, "It's all a big show. It's all how you're perceived." This instills Katniss with a self-awareness typical of the best reality stars, but with a crucial difference: Collins eschews the unsavory narcissism that drives reality television's stars such infectious acting out by making participation in the games mandatory. And still Katniss repeatedly plays to the camera, whether she's taunting enemies on the ground from a tree she just scurried up (of one such incident, she admits, "I know the crowd will love it."), determining whether or not to ally with the other player from her district ("I know if I was watching, I'd loathe any tribute who didn't immediately ally with their district partner") or, once officially allied with him, deciding how far to take it ("If I want to keep [fellow tribute] Peeta alive, I've got to give the audience something more to care about. Star-crossed lovers desperate to get home together. Two hearts beating as one. Romance.").
10 Reading Revolutions Before E-Books
Posted by Tim Carmody on The Atlantic's Science & Tech blog
If you think e-books are a big deal, this post should put things in perspective. From the Print Revolution to "the shift from vertical to horizontal writing, and then back to vertical again," Tim Carmody highlights how our reading and writing habits have been changing drastically for centuries.
What book blog posts have you enjoyed this week? Bonus points if they have nothing to do with The Hunger Games or Jonathan Franzen!
If you follow authors on Twitter, chances are you know all about the Jennifer Weiner-Jodi Picoult-Jonathan Franzen literary vs. commercial fiction showdown taking place online.
Well, I suppose "literary vs. commercial fiction showdown" isn't entirely appropriate. Weiner explains the issue on her blog:
[Franzen's] back! On the cover of Time! In the pages of Vogue! Reviewed, glowingly, not once but twice in the New York Times! Which has also devoted a news story and an inside-the-list column to FREEDOM, even though it won’t come out ‘til next week!
Jodi Picoult, number-one bestseller of quote-unquote commercial fiction (full disclosure: she and I attended the same college and are published by the same house), has a problem with that. Last week, she tweeted about all of the attention the Times gives to its white male literary darlings, at the expense of the hundreds of thousands of other writers – some of them literary, some of them quote-unquote genre writers – who get no love at all.
But if you do want to get up-to-speed on the drama, here are few notable links:
As someone who reads both literary and commercial fiction (as do most readers of this blog, I'd imagine), I haven't gotten too bent out of shape over this dispute. I'm just happy it inspired the hilarious @EmperorFranzen twitter page!
Also in BookPage:
Interviews with Weiner about Goodnight Nobody and Best Friends Forever.
Interviews with Picoult about Change of Heart and The Tenth Circle.
Interview with Franzen about The Corrections. (I'll post our interview about Freedom on August 31, the novel's publication date.)